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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 55

East and West Coast Railway

East and West Coast Railway.

I wish to say, as I do not desire to come before you under any false character, that I am a very earnest advocate for the construtcion of the railway which is to unite the East and West Coast of the Middle Island, and join in connection there with Nelson. When it was put to me, when I was standing for my election, "Will you refuse your consent to the Main Trunk line of the North Island being carried on until you have secured a guarantee that the East and West Coastline will be carried out?" I said "No; I will not make that condition; I look upon it that the Main Trunk line of the North Island is of vast importance, and it is our duty to go on with it as rapidly as possible; at the same time I admit I attach great value to the East and West Coast line, that I am of opinion it should be carried out if possible by private enterprise, and if private enterprise cannot carry it out it that should be constructed at the cost of the colony." I could not consider it was possible to tolerate that such an immensely rich district as the West page break Coast of the Middle Island should be shut off and not properly opened, from the difficulty of access under which it labours. I feel certain the line, when constructed, will be amply sufficient reward to those who desire to see it carried out.